Our heroes head to Gotham City to confront the man behind the madness, but first they find another costumed hero.
Previously on ELSEWORLDS…
With Oliver and Barry still body-swapped, and with Kara still on Earth-1, the heroes’ attention turns to Gotham City, which is where the Vibe where Cisco saw the Monitor and John Deegan took place.
In the first part of the crossover, the trip to Earth-38’s Smallville was clearly designed to look like the early-2000s TV show SMALLVILLE. Here, the Earth-1 Gotham City is meant to evoke the Gotham from Christopher Nolan’s DARK KNIGHT trilogy, just with a little bit more comic book influence than Nolan was ever comfortable using.
But it isn’t Batman – or Bruce Wayne – that Green Arrow, The Flash and Supergirl encounter when they get to Gotham. Instead, they meet some members of the Gotham City Police Department, who arrest them based on Oliver Queen’s recent reputation. Instead of spending a night in prison – which is the recommendation of Laurel Lance – they get bailed out by a mysterious benefactor, who leads them to the Wayne Enterprises headquarters.
Again, it’s not Bruce Wayne they encounter – Oliver tells Barry and Kara that no one has heard from Bruce for a few years now, which ties nicely into the Nolan Bat-verse. As they work through their confusion, Kate Kane introduces herself and gives them a rooftop where they can work things out.
Kane and Kara have a one-on-one after Kara goes inside looking for a place to change into Supergirl and gives Kara the information they need: John Deegan is holed up in Arkham Asylum. And while the episode was already chock full of Batman references, they get turned up a few notches inside the Asylum.
Barry, Oliver and Kara get to the world’s most famous loony bin and have to get through a whole bunch of crazy to get to Deegan and the Book of Destiny. They have a little bit of help, as Caitlin, Diggle and Cisco vibe to Arkham to tell the heroes to get the book. And they only know that because ANOTHER Flash – the Barry Allen of Earth-90 (played by John Wesley Shipp), appearing at ARGUS like he was Ezra Miller in BATMAN V SUPERMAN – told them.
Chock. Full. Of references.
After Barry and Oliver manage to knock over some of the Scarecrow’s fear toxin and battle each other, and after Caitlin gets knocked out by NORA FRIES, Batwoman saves the day, they get the Book of Destiny and bring it back to ARGUS so they can learn how to open it and change everyone back. But then the Earth-90 Flash shows up again, to fill everyone in on the Monitor. And that’s when he appears.
The big guy tells Flash, Flash Green Arrow and Kara that he is trying to find heroes that he can call upon to battle an evil far worse than he. Earth-90 Flash rushes him, but gets disappeared away. Monitor snaps his finger and gets the Book of Destiny back from ARGUS and returns the book to John Deegan, telling him to “Do better. Think bigger.” So Deegan opens the book again and the Flash and Green Arrow are no longer body swapped. Instead, they’re non-powered fugitives being chased by police officers Ricardo Diaz and Malcolm Merlyn. Sure, they escape those two, but then a black-suited Superman shows up and those two are in some deep doo-doo now.
Thankfully, there’s still one more hour left in this crossover…
- Names encountered on the walls of Arkham Asylum include Oswald Cobblepot (The Penguin), Edward Nygma (The Riddler), Pamela Isley (Poison Ivy), Boris Karlo (Clayface) and Marc Guggenheim (executive producer of the Arrowverse shows).
- When Kara talks about Bruce Wayne to Kate Kane inside Wayne Enterprises, she sees a bust of Shakespeare, similar to the one Batman used to open the secret passage to the Batcave in the 1966 BATMAN TV show. Similarly, Bane’s mask from DARK KNIGHT RISES can be seen at one point in Arkham.
- One of the prisoners who escapes Arkham puts on a golden mask. This is Roger Hayden, the Psycho-Pirate, a character who was integral to the 1985 CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS comic book.
- When Earth-90 Barry Allen gets through to Earth-1, he recognizes John Diggle, but questions where his “ring” is, and noting that things must be different on this Earth. I think it’s a safe bet to assume that John’s Earth-90 counterpart is the Green Lantern.
- Batman and Bruce Wayne may be missing from Earth-1, but Kara acknowledges that he’s still around on Earth-38, as she tells Kate Kane that their cousins are “frenemies.”
- The black suit Superman shows up in is reminiscent of the one he wore when he returned from the dead after being killed by Doomsday.
So much to process in this second chapter. The ELSEWORLDS crossover finishes up in SUPERGIRL.